Day Two, Part Two

July 10th, 2009 § 1 comment

Zach here. Our second day of shooting was rougher than the first. Yesterday’s post may suggest otherwise, but let me explain the circumstances of the photographs.

We needed to shoot a simple scene on a longer-distance bus, like a Greyhound. We decided it would be best to just buy round-trip tickets to Seattle for the crew on what would hopefully be a near-empty bus and shoot without any sort of permission. We headed down to the station to catch a 4:30. About five minutes before our scheduled departure, the woman on duty told us that the bus had been overbooked, and that there wouldn’t be any seats for us. It didn’t sound ideal for shooting. We got our money back and headed home to the office, where we all fell asleep (minus Nandan, who documented the experience). After a quick, completely unfulfilling nap we drove up to Tacoma to catch a public bus to Seattle, which looked just like a Greyhound on the inside. It was way cheaper, too. We got some good material as the sun set, but we needed more after dark, so we waited around in Seattle for the light to be just right (absent).
Our return bus came, but so did an enormous tour group of about twenty people. We decided to wait half an hour for the next one. When it finally showed up, it was the wrong kind of bus. We decided to wait another half an hour. In the meantime we went for some preemptive wrap party milkshakes. This caused us to miss yet another bus. The next one that rolled around was still not what we were looking for. Figuring that the nicer, Greyhound-looking buses weren’t running anymore, we climbed aboard and headed home. Despite it not matching our earlier shots, we got some good stuff. I imagine that either one bus or the other will appear in the film, perhaps neither, and certainly not both.

§ One Response to Day Two, Part Two

  • Mark Holmes says:

    Sounds rough. Really wish you guys the best, but if your goal is truly to make a feature film, you might want to adjust your approach.

    Having produced and sold to distribution two micro-budget features, I feel like what you are lacking is pre-production planning. Both our features were shot in 16 -20 days and each day lasted from 10-15 hours. Not because we are workaholics, but that is what’s required to get the minimal footage necessary to piece together a film when it comes time to edit.

    Every day should be planned down to the hour, and go like clockwork. You need to be going through 5-12 pages of script each day, or your cast and crew will quickly lose interest and move on with their lives.

    Indie filmmaking is a constant juggle to get the footage you need while dealing with an ever dwindling amount of time, money and energy. Don’t waste any of those.

    And worry about a wrap party when the film is wrapped. The end of the day should be a chance to look over your footage, determine if any re-shoots are needed, to make sure the next days shooting is planned, and to get some sleep. I totally understand that you want to keep crew morale high, but we’ve found the best way to do that is for the team to see the film coming together by a steady accumulation of work getting finished. After your first week, do a rough edit of some of your best footage. That will do wonders for morale.

    Good luck.

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